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The 10th annual LAAFF is right around the corner in Downtown Asheville on Labor Day Weekend Sept 3-4th on Lexington Ave. 

A handful of Dreamspider bands and friends are performing at the Fest:

  • Stephaniesid is doing their CD release at their show on Saturday Sept 3d at 7:30 on the main stage.
  • Galen Kipar Project plays on Sunday 2:45-3:30 pm on the main stage
  • Jonathan Scales Fourchestra on Sunday 5:45-6:30pm on the Mai Stage
  • Spork! on Sunday 1:15-2pm on the Main stage

Also, be sure to check out 23 Skidoo & The Family Band (Sat 11am Main Stage), Santos (Sat. 1pm bobo stage) , Paper Tiger (Sat 3:15 Main Stage), Vertigo Jazz Project (Sat 4:15 Main Stage), The Secret B-Sides (Sun 6pm bobo stage), Lotion (Sun 2:30-3:10 Mountain Xpress Walnut Stage), GFE (Sun 8:15 MX WaLnut Stage), Ten Cent Poetry (Sun 11:45- 12:30 Main Stage), Jeff Santiago y Los Gatos Negros (Sun 1:45- 2:30 main stage), Zansa (Sun 6:30-7:15 Main Stage), Moses Atwood Band (Sun 4:45-5:30 main Stage) and lots of oither great stuff.

For the full schedule and lots more fantastic Asheville bands check out the Mountain Xpress: http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2011/083111laaff-bandsschedule#.Tl-jfWoglIE

The Xpress also did this wonderful interview with Stephaniesid about their album release:

The new Stephaniesid album, Starfruit — despite its name-association with things tropical and celestial — was conceived in a dark basement. “A universe leapt out of the grayness,” says front woman Stephanie Morgan.

An advance listen of the album reveals lush pop, layered vocals, rich horn parts and a certain velvety darkness (perhaps it’s the snarl of baritone sax or echoes of reverb ). But even through an edge of bitterness (despite dance beats and bells, the track “Starf—ker” is not without teeth), the record is backlit by undeniable sparkle.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2011/083111ripe-for-the-picking#.Tl-m_WoglIE

LAAFF is not only a music festival, it is also a arts and fun festival.. So be sure to wander around and stumble into many other fabulously freaky things that will happen both day! Here are some fantactic pics of last years LAAFF by local Photographer Lissy Whelan with Bright Life Photography:


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On Sunday, September 5, 2010 the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival http://LexFestAsheville.com is going to happen in downtown AVL. This is an Asheville Home Grown Festival that is one of the community highlights of the year. Videos by G Social Media-Gary http://GSocialMedia.com and Erin http://Dreamspider.net.

Lexington Avenue is going to be filled with Awesomeness this Sunday as the Arts and Fun Festival http://LexFestAsheville.com takes over downtown Asheville.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010
Labor Day Weekend
All Local ~ All Original

11am – 9pm
~ FREE and Kid Friendly~
director@lexfestasheville.com
North Lexington Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
www.arts2people.org
www.lexfestasheville.com

Join us in the annual FREE end-of-summer celebration of Asheville’s artistic and musical communities, The Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. LAAFF is entering our 9th year of filling three blocks of N. Lexington Ave in downtown with all local art, food, beer, music, street performers, and random acts of creativity. LAAFF takes place on Sunday, September 5th, 2010.

LAAFF has become the showcase event for all types of talent on multiple stages and performance areas including rock and roll, indie pop, funk, folk, reggae, world beats, singer-songwriters, bluegrass, old time, African drummers, clowns, magicians, contortionists, belly dancers, modern dancers, vaudeville actors, break dancers, hula hoopers, and more. LAAFF has grown over the years to become known as Asheville’s largest independent street festival with upwards of 15,000 in attendance.

LAAFF is an experience the whole family can get into. Kids will love making art, dancing, getting their faces painted and having fun all day long. Kids are also in on the act showing off their breakdancing, parading, and making music. The big “kids” will enjoy the ever popular bicycle jousting, local brews provided by the Asheville Brewers Alliance, an eclectic culinary and artistic experience, as well as the new big people game: Big Wheels for Big Kids. There will be lots of fun new vendors as well as old favorites with a ton of variety.

Created specifically for LAAFF by Co-Founder Michael Mooney, LAAFF’s ever popular Bicycle Jousting is always a mainstay attraction! This is a fun and safe bike joust where contestants are armored up with foam and helmets. The sit upon bike with banana seats and wheel with elliptical hubs which make the bike bounce up and down like riding on a horse. Each contestant holds a long pole with a boxing glove on the end..If they can reach each other they try and joust the other off the bike. It is extremely fun to watch and a great activity that Michael created as an event at LAAFF. To see the gear in advance go to Pack Place’s Front Gallery… will you dare to ride?

LaZoom Tour Bus hosts a rolling LAAFF theatre for the day! If you just want to enjoy an easy going ride… LaZoom has traveling sideshows with a variety of acts (Including kids acts and adult only acts) throughout the day in 40 minute loops around Asheville. This is set up as an affordable way to fund-raise at LAAFF with extra entertainment to the festival.

Various arts schools and organizations have in the past teamed up to create the LAAFF Kids area. There is always face painting and a chill out zone for parents with babies who may need to sit down and relax, breastfeed, or change a diaper.

As part of an ongoing commitment to improve and expand the role of the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival in the community, greening efforts and more emphasis on environmental issues will continue to increase. The core principle of being an all local event has been a foundation of the festival’s efforts to support local artists, musicians, restaurants, and non-profits. For instance, using water sales as a way for local non-profits to raise funds and involving the Asheville On Bikes organization to host a bike corral, encouraging participants in the festival to ride bikes, use public transportation, and carpool to limit their impact. Reducing waste has always been an important goal, and last year composting was added to the recycling and reuse efforts. Many of the food and beverage vendors are now using compostable cups and utensils. The festival will continue to include local non-profits, especially environmental and arts organizations and hopefully will showcase renewable energy in LAAFF’s to come. For more info email greening@lexfestasheville.com.

LAAFF also has a great merchandise area with LAAFF T-shirts, water bottles, and performer merchandise. 100% of performer merch proceeds goes back to the bands themselves. There is also a silent auction to raise fund for Arts 2 People of which some donated items are available to see on our “silent auction” page of this website. We accepting items up through the morning of the festival each year. Email vending@lexfestasheville.com if you would like to donate or be a vendor at the event.

LAAFF relies on community support to ensure our success each year. LAAFF is a volunteer driven event, with a core staff, put on by and for the community. Your tax-deductible contribution ensures the ongoing successes of this much anticipated yearly Asheville celebration. LAAFF is a project of 501(c)3 non-profit Arts 2 People.

To get involved email director@lexfestasheville.com for info on how to plug in. For publicity inquiries please email dreamspider@gmail.com.

FIND LAAFF on the web:

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This post by Jason Sanford with the AVL Citizen Times and Ashvegas Blog rocks! I was actually an “extra” in this Tea Party moment…

ASHVEGAS: Local tea party is not Mad Tea Party

Jason Sandford • April 23, 2010 Asheville Citizen Times

The Asheville Tea Party is a grassroots movement of regular people on a mission to take back their government. Call them citizen crusaders. They’re mad as hell, and they’re not gonna take it.

But don’t call them The Mad Tea Party. That would be the name of Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel’s popular Asheville band. They’re known for their ukulele-powered rockabilly.

The musicians have been on the local scene a good bit longer than the folks with the political agenda. Yet it seems that some folks are getting the two mixed up.

“We started getting e-mails from people thinking we were affiliated with the movement” when it first took off last year, Worthen says. It’s not the first time the band has had its name confused. There’s a Disneyland ride by the same name. It features a giant tea cup that spins riders around in dizzying style. “What can you do but laugh?”

So the band decided to have a little fun. During the Asheville Tea Party’s protest on Tax Day last week, Worthen and Krekel showed up with their instruments, a cameraman and a few extras, including a dancer in a bunny costume. It was a classic Asheville “when worlds collide” moment.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100423/NEWS/304230031 THERE IS ALSO A GREAT VIDEO POSTED: http://www.citizen-times.com/section/videonetwork?bctid=78372290001

Photo by Aja Bach

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By Carol Motsinger • August 30, 2009 12:15 AM
Asheville Citizen Times Sunday Edition
www.citizen-times.com

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop.  At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

ASHEVILLE — For Frank Bloom, directing the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) is more than a day job. The festival, which is taking over a few blocks downtown Sept. 6, is one of the reasons he moved to Asheville.

Before making the permanent move, Bloom traveled from his home in Charlotte to help with the sound for the festival’s stages. One group turned out to be a sound engineer’s nightmare: There were more people than square footage on the stage. The group of dancers and drummers had never performed together.

“They weren’t even a band,” Bloom said. “They were more like an experiment.” But despite Bloom’s handwringing, the performance went off without a hitch.

“It was really cool…it was a little welcome to Asheville,” Bloom said. “It was one of those experiences that was a decision-maker for me moving here.”

Four years later, Bloom is no longer behind the sound board; he’s up front at the helm of the 8th annual event celebrating all things arts, music and Asheville. The free festival will fill three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.

And in a lot of ways, Bloom’s new gig isn’t too far removed from the afternoon he made sure the sounds of that 20-person band got the crowd dancing. “It’s organized chaos,” Erin Scholze, who booked the bands, said of the planning process.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

But organized it is. In just one day, the festival will showcase more than 30 bands and 70 artists. Not to mention a kids area, a circus side show, street performers, a new stage in the La Zoom purple bus and whatever other spontaneous acts of creativity decide to show up.

“It’s a showcase,” Scholze said. “For us, it’s really about maxing it out and sensory overload.”

Forget the stages: Scholze’s favorite part of the festival is the “fabulously freaky” characters who make up the crowd.

“I always love seeing the people in costumes,” she said. “You might see the person who just served you at Zambra walking around in this random costume.”

“That’s the spirit of LAAFF…it’s very eye-opening,” she added.

Bloom’s primary goal this year “was to continue the spirit and the atmosphere of the festival,” he said. And what is that spirit? It’s celebrating everything that makes up Asheville: Local art, food and beer, he said.

“This has a party atmosphere,” he said. “We definitely want to keep that identity.”

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival.  A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

That certainly doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes. “In eight years, the area around the festival has definitely changed,” he said. “The festival celebrates that indie spirit that was the beginning of the re-birth of downtown.”

As the city center has flourished, so has the festival. When Scholze started working with LAAFF in its second year, some 3,000 people came out to the party. The event now draws 12,000 people downtown, she said.

Festival organizers also try to “integrate the evolution” of Asheville, Bloom said. For instance, they will be serving six local beers instead of just one, as they have in previous years. When the festival started, Asheville wasn’t known as a beer city, Bloom said.

There will be some subtractions this year as well. Michael Mooney will not be attempting to ride the world’s tallest bike this year, a stunt that’s so fundamental to the festival that it’s part of the official poster. They also won’t paint a donated car this year, Bloom said. But bicycling jousting (another Mooney original and crowd favorite) is still planned and they have some new surprises Bloom wanted to keep hush-hush.

But the most unique part of the festival may not be the break-dancing pirate or the kooky couple hula-hooping to funky beats. What makes this event special is the personal investment of the people who volunteer their time to make it happen, Scholze said.

“The community really takes ownership of it,” she said.

The same folks show up year after year. “It’s like a big family reunion,” Scholze added.

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)


Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival performers
Blue Rags, Dehlia Low, Eymarel, Hunab Kru, Jen and the Juice, Mad Tea Party, Melmacpink, Roberto Hess, Swayback Sisters, tHE POLES, U-N-I verse, Zabumba!. Asheville Dance Revolution, Baraka Mundi, Blackjack, Brushfire Stankgrass, Ceol Leinn, Galen Kipar Project, Modo, Now You See Them, Runaway Circus and Loose Caboose, Taylor Martin, The Chx, Velvet Truck Stop, Angi West, Arundas, Dip-N-Flip E.Normus Trio, Lulo, Pierce Edens, Pilgrim, Poetix Vanguard, Secret B-Sides, Ash Devine w/ Quetzal, Hillbillionaire$, La Feral Zoom: Rollin’ Barks of Laughter, LEAF in Schools and Streets: Youth at Jazz, Oso Rey, as well as a bluegrass jam, celtic jam and old-time jam.

LAAFF Performers Schedule

IF YOU GO
What:
8th Annual Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival.
When:
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.
Where:
Three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass.
Cost:
Free.
For more
about LAAFF 2009 www.lexfestasheville.com
about Arts 2 People www.arts2people.org

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